TTC chooses Grand Parkway developer

Construction is set to begin in early 2013 on segments F-1, F-2 and G after the Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday approved Zachary-Odebrecht Parkway Builders as the developer for the three sections.

Zachary-Odebrecht will develop approximately 37 miles of new toll road which stretches from Hwy. 290 in Harris County east to Hwy. 59. The cost of the project's development is about $1.04 billion. Including 15 years operation and maintenance of the the three segments, the total costs are more than $1.1 billion.

"This is a major advancement, increasing mobility for motorists in the Greater Houston metropolitan area," said Jeff Moseley, TTC director. "The innovative financial approach used here will make this project a reality much sooner, and that's great news for Houston motorists."

Senate Bill 1420, adopted by the 82nd Texas Legislature in 2011, allowed the Texas Department of Transportation the ability to enter into a public-private partnership for the development of Grand Parkway, which was first discussed as a need to improve Houston mobility in the early 1960s.

According to TxDOT, public-private partnerships "allow the department to contract with the private sector for the design and construction and possibly, operation and maintenance of a project." The agreement also allows the state to retain ownership of the project.

Zachary-Odebrecht beat out three other developers in the bidding process. Along with Zachary-Odebrecht, the four finalists short-listed by TxDOT were Fluor Balfour Beatty Williams Brothers, Kiewit-Granite Parkway Constructors and Spring Creek Constructors.

TxDOT utilized a 100-point scoring system based on price, project development plan and schedule to determine the winning bid. Zachary-Odebrecht received the highest score of 92.2. Flour/Balfour achieved the next highest score at 72.11, while Spring Creek Constructors scored 70.07 and Kiewit-Granite Parkway Constructors scored 63.04.

The next step in the process is for the project to receive environmental permitting, which is expected in January 2013.

Grand Parkway is a planned 184-mile loop when, once completed, will be the third outer loop in the Greater Houston area. Two segments of Grand Parkway are open: Segment D in Katy and Segment I-2 in Baytown.